Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
LOSIN_IT4GOOD Posts: 642
6/9/13 5:35 A

I really struggled with that when I was seeing a personal trainer because we were in a wide open space that was visible to everyone. I hated thinking they were staring at me, and I hated how my fat jiggled and was horrified when I say myself in the mirror all red and sweaty! I don't know if they were or weren't looking at me, but I adopted a pretty healthy attitude to cope. I decided that I wanted people to see me at my heaviest so that they could say a few months down the road: "Hey, that gal has really been busting her butt! Look at how good she looks now!"
That's what I think when I'm at the gym and I see someone that's been in my shoes. Good luck!

SONSTRAALTJIES SparkPoints: (330)
Fitness Minutes: (30)
Posts: 8
6/9/13 2:48 A

You don't need to be self conscious, cause you are doing something productive to get into shape and your not just sitting arround. Just do it!

JIBBIE49 Posts: 72,596
6/9/13 12:59 A

Like Dr. Phil says Most people don't think about you as much as you think they think about you.

TONYAB2000 Posts: 1,259
6/8/13 1:01 A

Ugh! Exactly and I hate it! I have two friends that keep inviting me to this 8 AM bootcamp at the gym in town. I want to go, but I don't want to workout in front of people. I get some workouts off of youtube and there are so many things that I still CANNOT do. I feel so self-conscious around others. I go run every morning at the park and I always feel weird running around the other run/walkers that are there as well. But I'm working on it! Hopefully, I'll get up the nerve to go to the gym soon because I really think it would be fun to be there with my friends. emoticon

SJAVON83 SparkPoints: (2,704)
Fitness Minutes: (1,073)
Posts: 20
6/7/13 11:58 P

Big time!!

SANDYZABEL68 SparkPoints: (3,473)
Fitness Minutes: (2,439)
Posts: 12
6/7/13 7:57 P

I go to our fitness center in our apartment complex. My husband gives me a hard time all the time about being so self conscious to the point I won't go in if there is someone else there. Granted, this isn't a big fitness center. We have a treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike, and a weight/strength station that has multiple stations. I just don't feel comfortable. If someone is there, I move on to it being my walk night. I shouldn't be that way. No one has ever said anything, but these are in shape 20+ year olds that can out do me hands down. I try. Maybe I'll get over this once I lose a bit more weight.

ABUFFKIN Posts: 2,233
6/7/13 2:53 P

I am usually the largest person at the gym at any given time, so I usually am a bit self conscious.

I am trying to get better about it, though.

6/7/13 2:11 P

Good topic for me this week. I have avoided going to the pool (my form of gym). making up any number of excuses, but bottom line, I am the biggest person in the class. No one criticizes me or condemns me. Just me. Today I went out, and so many people spoke to me and welcomed me back to class. I felt I had the right momentum. But what is interesting is that once I put one foot in the pool I couldnt wait for the class to start.

So I have the right desire, just a funky week. Tomorrow's another day. I'll be back for the Saturday class.

SHELLY707 SparkPoints: (3,856)
Fitness Minutes: (4,691)
Posts: 1
6/7/13 1:36 P

Self conscious at the gym, sure. I am overweight, but I also look at like this, the reason why I am in the gym is to get healthy. It did not take me 5 minutes to gain 65lbs and its not going to take 5 minutes to lose it,. I do not care what others think, I am self conscious because of me, not anyone else. As I continue the process of change, my mindset is changing along with my weight. I want to encourage everyone, no matter what you do- just do it.

6/6/13 6:01 P

Head phones in, world off

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
6/6/13 5:59 P

I remember stepping foot in a gym 4 years ago wearing a baggy huge size t-shirt and sweat pants. I could hardly walk a lap around the track. Yes, I was self conscious but I kept going and going and going. Fast forward to today, I am within 2 pounds of goal and have muscles, almost flat abs, and think I look pretty fit. That wouldn't have happened if I worried about what others thought of me. I am sure today, they wouldn't even recognize me as the same person.

I could really care less what other people do at the gym or look like. I am there to get fit for myself. Yes, I do wear clothes that define my physique today, but hey I have worked 4 long years in the gym and I am proud of my body today. I couldn't have said that 4 years ago.

Get in the gym, make it happen for YOU and forget what others are doing! You will be glad you stayed!

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
Fitness Minutes: (23,579)
Posts: 729
6/6/13 5:38 P

I totally agree with the poster who talked about women wearing tight clothing. Obviously if a woman wears something that shows off her physique, it is human nature for a male to notice, since it is hard-wired into their brains to find something attractive in what they see. However, lingering, lustful stares are inappropriate.

What I find stupid is women who dress like that, then give everyone dirty looks for noticing. Must like the drama, eh?

ANNEMARGO Posts: 450
6/6/13 1:57 P

As I said before in this thread, I once had a very bad experience connected to a gym, which may have been avoided if I hadn't been trying to convince myself that certain danger signs were my imagination. And the original poster mentioned a particular type of behavior at her gym. So, for safety's sake, let me put this out there--if you feel self-conscious because of the younger/fitter/skinnier people at the gym, this thread has lots of good advice and you should take it. BUT! If you feel self-conscious because a person of the opposite sex seems to be demonstrating creepy behavior--for example, staring at you in a purposeful way for an extended time, getting too close, making audible comments about your body (especially sexual comments), etc., don't ignore it or try to minimize it as normal behavior. Especially if the person ignores your discomfort with his or her actions or a direct request to stop. Tell a gym employee about it and request that s/he intervene. If s/he won't, request to speak to a manager. You have a right to exercise in peace, without being made uncomfortable by someone who is, frankly, practicing a form of sexual harassment. (And for those saying it's normal--a gentleman or lady has the ability to discreetly look at an attractive person without making that person uncomfortable. Someone practicing any of the behaviors I describe above is sexually harassing the target, and it's not acceptable.)

Edited by: ANNEMARGO at: 6/6/2013 (13:59)
LAZY_DAVE Posts: 21
6/5/13 10:56 P

I get uncomfortable sometimes at the gym too, and I'm 5'10" 163lbs and in pretty good shape. Yet when I see the young and beautiful there I can still become self conscious. But people really aren't looking at me at, it's all in my head. Now if you're some terrific looking girl or guy people take notice, otherwise not really. As as for guys looking at hot girls in tight workout clothes, yes of course it's going to happen, it's normal for males. Guys will check out those girls anywhere, not just in a gym. Just mother nature at work.

RPS031764 SparkPoints: (176,408)
Fitness Minutes: (197,857)
Posts: 1,252
6/5/13 9:01 P

No, worry only about you

FLANAGANSH SparkPoints: (6,424)
Fitness Minutes: (5,443)
Posts: 133
6/5/13 8:19 P

When I'm at the gym, that's my time. What I do is mine and no one else's and I am in my own bubble. Plus it is all about perception. Just because you don't bench 300+ pounds doesn't mean that that isn't a huge feat for your own body. Me for example. Back in Highschool I could bench 230 and weighed 245 (I benched 95% of my body weight) I was sad today when I found out I could only bench 210... however, I soon realized that I now weigh 190 (I bench 110% of my body weight.) See.. perspective!

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
6/5/13 12:58 P

I am a member of a pretty small gym, and I'll admit that we all tend to look at each other from all the time - but absolutely NOT from a place of judgment. I'll look at someone to study the move that they're doing to see if it's an exercise I should try, or to admire how hard they're working, or to admire the fact that they only just started at the gym but they've been there every day that I've been there that week.

My husband and I go to the gym together, and when we walk home I've often said "did you see that lady doing pull ups? She was so strong! I want to be fit like her!" I've never said something disparaging - because they're at the gym! They're already doing something awesome! I've also seen women watching me - I'm one of the few women that will freely venture in to the weight area, and I hope that those watching realize they shouldn't be intimidated to try anything.

6/5/13 12:30 P

I go to the YMCA that is across town rather than go to the national chain gym that is 3 minutes away. 95% of my reasoning comes from the fact that my membership is cheaper at the Y, but the other 5% comes from the fact that there aren't as many creepy men or half-naked women there.

6/4/13 10:03 P

AZURE-SKY-you are so right!

I won't go to the gym for that exact reason-I'm too self-conscious. BUT I do have weights at home and I either walk for my exercise or belly dance for the days when the weather is bad, so to me that really isn't an issue. My sister was CONSTANTLY picking on me about everything-looks, actions, attitudes, opinions, etc that I have been so beat down I couldn't face going anyway.

SMIZGALA1 SparkPoints: (4,904)
Fitness Minutes: (5,100)
Posts: 1
6/4/13 8:24 P

Good for you, Azure Sky! People are there to get/stay fit and healthy... who am I to judge their bodies or workouts?

My gym is like many others: Many pumped up, muscular men, a few very fit women with great looking muscles, overweight people, young and old, some younger people who are thin and don't really look like they even need to workout. But we are all there for a reason: our health.

What I do indeed judge, however, is behaviour... people who don't wipe down the equipment or rack their weights drive me crazy!

AZURE-SKY Posts: 1,954
6/4/13 4:27 P

For those who feel self-conscious or intimidated at the gym, ask yourself these questions - and be truthful to yourself.

1. Are they really judging you (do they say anything, or look at you funny) or do you just THINK they're judging you?

If they ARE judging you, then they're just stupid/rude/insensitive, and their opinions are meaningless. So, why do you care what they think?

If it's just your perception that they are judging you - why do you feelthat anyone has the right to judge you? (or why do you ASSUME anyone is even paying attention to you or judging you?) Most of the time people at the gym are just trying to do their own workout.

2. When you leave the gym, are those people part of your life? If not, why does their opinion of you matter?

3. Do you ever judge anyone else on their looks/actions/personality/clothing style, etc. - even if you don't know them? If you do, but never say anything to that person, do think they are even AWARE of what you're thinking? NO, and your opinion has absolutely no affect on that other person.

Maybe my perspective is different, because I'm older than most of the posters here - I'm in my early 60s. The gym I go to has a lot of older people when I go, so there's lots of wrinkles, saggy skin, bald men, flabby women - and of course a number of people who are in fabulous shape for their age. But, I don't feel that I have to live up to some stranger's standards - only my own. I'm way past the stage where I'm trying to impress anybody - emoticon

I'm about 70 pounds overweight, but I go to the gym, and I don't care what anyone else thinks. I'm there for myself. I use the elliptical, the treadmill, the weight machines, and I swim and take water aerobics classes. I'm more fit than some people, but not as fit as others - but it doesn't matter.

I once saw a really old lady at the gym, she must have been in her late 80s, looking very frail. She was sitting on one of the weight benches, and doing bicep curls with 1-lb weights. Some people might have laughed thinking that it was a waste of time, but I was actually impressed with her. She was doing what she had to do to stay healthy, and if she kept at it, she would get stronger.

Bottom line, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you - only what you think of yourself. If you don't like yourself, or think you're not good enough, nobody else will think so either.

KELLIEGRACE20 SparkPoints: (182)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 4
6/4/13 2:02 P

As much as I would like to think that people don't judge you at the gym, they do. The looks, the backing away, etc was enough for me to not set foot in a gym in 5 years. Particularly the women. So while some of you may have experiences of people being nice about it, I have not. I wish I did, then maybe I would not be so cynical?

COLLARANDCUFFS SparkPoints: (178,615)
Fitness Minutes: (136,101)
Posts: 1,368
6/4/13 12:35 P

i too feel very self concious about people seeing me so i have an exercise bike at home... but i also swim at the local pool. i feel ok cos i go when it is quiet and also i feel like no one can see me size when i am under the water i just take a deep breath and get out when i have finished and dont look at anyone else
It also helps with my bad joints in my hips and knees .. not so much pressure on them

APACHESTEVE SparkPoints: (30,568)
Fitness Minutes: (20,348)
Posts: 2,580
6/4/13 12:24 P

I'm at 380 and getting back to the gym and journaling my food and I have found so many posts in this thread motivating. Believe it or not it is not just the ladies who can be self conscious at the gym. It is almost intimidating because I always have to lessen the amount of weight on the bar or on the machine right now. It seems like everyone does more than I can. However, my attitude did get a little change last night. When changing weight on a bar I made a comment about my "wimp weight" to which the other guy helping me change the weight said, "hey your doing something about it." That felt good. We can't always assume we know what others are thinking.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
Posts: 337
6/4/13 12:09 P

Don't ever feel bad, we are making a great and healthy choice by going! I find the ones that stare,& have a hard rock 6pk, have NO life, they live there for hours! 7 days a week!! So keep your head up high , focus and dedication will pay off. Gym is just too costly, I turned my living room into a mini gym, kettlebeels, stability ball, resistance bands, dumbells, jumprope. I am working hard, and doing morning power walks, I started out 15 min walks and now I do 45. I am now finally DEDICATED...:]

JOANIEBUG46 Posts: 4,214
6/4/13 12:00 P

"What you think of me is none of my business" . . . I love that motto, and I will repeat it regularly. I used to be self-conscious even if I was out walking. I still hate crossing at designated crosswalks when cars are waiting, because I just feel all eyes on me . . . and it ain't a great sight. Anyway, I now realize that most people could care less about me, and I'm getting better about just trying to do what I think is best for me. If other people don't like me or what I'm doing, then that's there issue, not mine. Oh, that felt so good to say!

RAUCOUS SparkPoints: (1,640)
Fitness Minutes: (707)
Posts: 10
6/4/13 11:10 A

I agree with previous replies that everyone is there for their own reason, and not nearly as focused on you as you probably feel. I weigh 260 and last week (confession here!) I stumbled on the treadmill, faceplanted and totally shot off the back! (You can totally imagine that, right???) It doesn't get much worse than that. Believe it or not, no one even pretended to notice (I made it immediately clear by my actions that the only thing wounded was my ego--so they weren't being jerks ignoring me). Now, maybe they went home and told the story to their S.O.'s, but it was no big deal at the time.
To be fair, I work out at the "Y" and the crowd there IS less intimidating to me than some other places, but even when we were members at Lifetime (the epitome of health clubs in my opinion) it didn't feel too much different. Just keep your head up and be proud that you're doing something to improve your health!

BVTTERFLYGIRL SparkPoints: (3,262)
Fitness Minutes: (10,717)
Posts: 4
6/4/13 10:37 A

I know exactly how you feel. It's especially bad when you remember when you used to be in shape and now you are a shape but its not attractive lol! With that being said, I know for myself when I see someone come in my thoughts are wow that is so motivating to see someone trying to better their health. So you could just be the motivation that someone needs to keep going. Remember, no matter how good someone looks they had to work hard to get there and they have to work hard to stay there.

KELLIEGRACE20 SparkPoints: (182)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 4
6/4/13 8:48 A

scared to death to go to the gym because of my weight, always worried that people are looking at me like I'm some kind of leper...but I want so badly to lose weight that I'm going to bring along my Guetta playlists and just close my eyes (ok, not really, just mentally speaking!) and pretend they don't exist, and if that does not work well then I will just imagine them wearing something outlandish and try not to giggle at the imagery.

ALINVA SparkPoints: (8,740)
Fitness Minutes: (1,592)
Posts: 126
6/4/13 8:45 A

Well, I feel partially self conscious, but I attend sports and health center, where people can come with various problems, so I am trying to mind myself more. Somehow it has good atmosphere - the trainer always helps to everyone without making it "big"... maybe it helps. Also, I am not the only one obese/overweight there.

6/2/13 1:31 P

Totally agree with you, 8MOREB4, I think most people just want to plug in their headphones and zone out, just focus on themselves and their workout. Even when I exercise with friends, it's mainly for motivation to GO to the gym. Once there, we'll get on machines next to each other and do our own thing.

I know my eyes sometimes blankly wander, attracted by the movement of someone walking past, or I'm just staring into a corner not really thinking about anything. I assume anyone who's looking at me is just doing the same...or I have my shirt on inside out and backwards (totally happened before!!! :) )

To paraphrase Dr. Seuss: Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

Do it for you.

8MOREB4 Posts: 882
6/2/13 12:36 P

The truth is very few people are concerned or aware of anyone around them. It is sad but most of us are very self involved. Try to have that attitude, be friendly and smile, they will all think you have it all together.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
6/1/13 8:00 A

Awww, UNFAIREXCHANGE, of course, you're right ... but why don't you advise people to compare downward when and where they can ... ?

Plus: Fear is instinctual in humans for a reason.

However, I've got my goals packed .. along with the rest of my bags ... and,

hmmm, that ACES train full of young people bound towards Atlantic City looks quite inviting right about now .... Best of both worlds ... lol ... young-people-in-a-hurry types (to invoke fear and aspiration) on the way in ... And, once I get to that old-school casino-hotel, the gym's window facing the hallway and that buffet line (and THOSE people are NOT carbo-loading marathoners ... at least they do not LOOK like they are) ... to invoke those downward comparisons .... I sure remember working out harder in THAT gym, despite having been at a getaway ...

Ummm, I can't get away right now ... but you guys could do it ...

Look, it's not actually fair of me to talk like this ... I am a recently-diagnosed Type 2 diabetic whose body could go haywire if I don't control my food and keep up my cardio ... it's kind of sucky and I feel as--if not more--limited in my physical aspirations as any Heartland-hailing buffet-goer who's gone under the knife for gastric bypass surgery ...

but, still, I think I know whereof I speak ...

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 6/1/2013 (08:27)
6/1/13 7:57 A

I'm not saying anything new here, but everyone has their own goals; whether it's losing weight, gaining cardio endurance, lifting more weight or doing more reps. We're all on a different journey, but in the end, we're all in it together. So forget about their judgements of you and cheer them on, because inside most of them are cheering you on too.
psst: if they're just sitting there doing nothing, they might be self-conscious too and just waiting for you to look away. or waiting for their favorite machine to open up, or waiting for a pal to show up, they just aren't sure what to do, or just resting between types of workouts. You never know. it's not about the other people, but you and your goals.
"Don't feel bad about what you can't do, feel good about what you can do."
Good luck and have fun.

MCSUZE Posts: 2
5/31/13 10:44 P

I used to be very self conscious - but then I started losing weight & toning up & now feel really encouraged when people say how much I've changed. It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen. You have to do something at the gym that you enjoy. I only do classes. 2 x Zumba, 2 x bodypump & 2 x bodycombat. Great for core & muscle toning. Love it!

5/31/13 4:42 P

As far as being self conscious at a gym, this may not go over all that well, but I'll say it anyway. You're just going to have to get over it! Suck it up, march in there and do your thing. Yep, some people are in better shape than you. There will ALWAYS be someone in better shape than you. Yep, some people are going to judge you. There will ALWAYS be someone who judges you for something. You can't let those insecurities keep you from chasing your goals with full fledged determination. Remember, if it scares you a little, you should probably do it!

ALLKAYTBAT SparkPoints: (248)
Fitness Minutes: (80)
Posts: 1
5/31/13 1:10 P

I recently joined the Curves gym 5 mins from my house. I was going four times a week working out for a hour. yesterday when I went the owner of the gym came up to me and asked me if II would want to drive to a town about 30 mins. from my house. I asked if they were moving and she sais yes. when I asked when she said tomorrow. No advance notice or anything. Still had 4 weigh ins on my 3 month contract. What poor business ethics Curves has. I cannot drive that far four times a week. Will have to figure something out to get that exercise I was doing on those machines.

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
5/31/13 10:13 A

i used to enjoy the gym very much - went six of 7 days a week before work. because i could keep up and participate in almost everything - all classes, equipment etc. but now that the RA and Fibro do not allow me to do much at all - THAT is what is embarrassing. if i get down on a mat and cannot get up - if i lift a weight or do a zumba class and become dizzy and nauseated - of course people are kind - but i can imagine what they really think.
even if they don't - i think it myself - so i walk on my own treadmill (boring yes!) but at least i move a bit. if it is a nice day and my joints and body co operate - i walk outside - do a little gardening etc. i miss cutting grass believe it or not!

Edited by: BROADBRUSH at: 5/31/2013 (10:14)
GOLFLADY11 SparkPoints: (45,954)
Fitness Minutes: (44,440)
Posts: 2,719
5/31/13 1:09 A

I don't really like gyms - too conscious of what other people are doing. I like exercising at home, golfing or going for a walk or going to aquafit. I have just never felt comfortable in a gym.

BEFFI38 Posts: 7
5/31/13 1:07 A

I got up the nerve to go check out the Fitness Center at my workplace today. I waited until after everyone had been gone for almost an hour before I went down. There were 3 or 4 people in there, but none of them so much as glanced my way, and I was SO lost!!! I had no IDEA how to even start the machine!!! I FINALLY figured it out, and had a lot of fun, but I usually go to a park here in town that has an Outdoor Gym, which no one ever uses. Has an elliptical and a stationary bike and a leg press. It's really fun to do it outside!

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
5/30/13 8:32 P

A note about traveling cross-country while inhabiting Twoterville, and being in your mid-twenties at the same time ... I'd found sparse pockets of where people didn't act nasty to me (or me and my Dad, with whom I'd been traveling - he was of normal weight, BY THE WAY) ... only one place comes to mind: Pensacola, Florida ...

But for all I know Pensacola may have gone all hipster/young/fit and everything in the past few decades since ...

Maybe, pretend you're in a locality or on a planet where unassuming, everyday people live--and just brush anything else the h** off ...

COREY04 Posts: 80
5/30/13 12:05 P

Here is how I look at it: Yes, there are going to be some people who think they are better than you, because they are thin. For quite a few, that is ALL they have to offer to the world.
I feel sorry for them, but I have no time for people like that. Ignore them, like I do.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
5/30/13 11:18 A

Also, another hint based on my last post ... but you gotta act fast, like NOW, if you can! Before too many hip young people encroach on your fave tourist spot ... say, you wanna go to Atlantic City but you're not a gambler. If you stay in a hotel that has a gym/spa setup but is mostly for gamblers, that ALSO works in the same way as previous.

In other words, you could pick your venue in an outside environment that way ...

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
5/30/13 11:05 A

Oh, 615_HEATHER ... it didn't take ability to outwork anybody in my case ... During much of my membership to the last gym I'd ever gone to--when I'd still been an ardent lap swimmer (and even took private swim lessons for a time, there--NOT the same really, as having a personal trainer, which I am STILL against) uh, how could I say this? I commuted to a branch of that chain gym full of swell young people that was in a high rise MOTOR HOTEL, also with the sweeping 20th floor city views - just like the others. But THIS one had been different! It attracted all these possibly corn-fed tourists like from Middle America - kind of really challenged with their weight, and I had been neither. [NOT that they ventured into THAT gym; perhaps they'd gone to others, or fuhgeddaboudit--these people were on vacation, darn it!] So, not exactly in the gym, but milling about the hotel and the environs near Times Square New York City, during all seasons. Of course, at and after the opening of Spring Awakening (a Broadway show), I was shocked back into reality. (Young, slim, fit people just like at the gym spilling all over the sidewalks). However, I took it where I could get it, right near or in the hotel! I'd felt just a tad smug being so close to my goal size ... and having swum that day like a shark was after me. I was maintaining one of my lowest weights, while being muscular and eating very well with all that calorie-burn.

Okay, cut me a little slack here. I am trying to be as euphemistic as possible about this. I had not been a member of SparkPeople yet. But I posted all that stuff to my Dr. Phil weight management blog at the time.

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 5/30/2013 (11:12)
615_HEATHER SparkPoints: (9,637)
Fitness Minutes: (7,449)
Posts: 190
5/30/13 10:44 A

Don't give up on the gym, but it might be worth looking into a different gym. I've worked out at chain gyms before, and felt very uncomfortable with the muscle bound guys who strutted around like they owned the place. I now go to the corporate gym at my husband's work, open only to employees and their spouses. It's smaller, and I know a lot of the people there, even if only my face. You might also try going at off times when there will be fewer people there, at least until you become more comfortable. Another trick is to plug in your music, watch tv (if they have one), read a book--anything to keep your focus off what others are doing.

And there's nothing wrong with feeling a little smug when you out work that younger, skinnier thing on the treadmill next to you (always great motivation for me!!)!

Good luck!

LILLYBY50 SparkPoints: (25,890)
Fitness Minutes: (28,894)
Posts: 667
5/30/13 7:01 A

I just have to give my two cents......

I am over 300 lbs. I was horrified at going to the gym.....but people are right, no one really cares what you are doing. I have this quote from Sparkpeople's coach Nicole posted near my desk and in my gym bag "No one is judging you at the gym. They are all silently cheering you on."

I choose to go when it is slow, but will go during busy times if I need to and everyone is just concentrating on what they need to do ---everyone wants to get in and get it done and go home.

One time when I was lifting weights one of the machines, I gave up trying to find the handle I wanted and was going to use what was on there. This gentlemen came over and said "you don't want to use that one" and went and got the correct one for me. I was initially horrified as"he was looking at me", but he smiled, helped and moved on. Instead of letting me hurt myself, he helped and he wasn't judging my weight, maybe my stupidity at using the wrong handle!

There is this one large gentlemen, that I secretly watch and find him inspiring. When I could only do the elliptical for 1 or 2 minutes, I would watch him go and go and go and sweat and go.... I longed for the day, I could go for more than a minute. If he could do it, so could I.....

You decide what you want to do for YOU. The same few snarly people at the gym that may have a negative comment or look are the same snarly unhappy people that will comment in the store or somewhere else.

ERITAB SparkPoints: (3,812)
Fitness Minutes: (3,187)
Posts: 33
5/30/13 3:30 A

I used to Believe that if I Went to a gym people would just stare at me and basically laugh at me. I mean, at the local gym, I could see these fit gorgeous people training, and here I am. Not as gorgeous, and far away from fit. Until I realized that's the reason I actually need a gym, to become fit and healthy.
Once there, putting on my Music, doing my thing, I barely noticed people unless they were using the machine I needed or if they happened to pass right by me.
There were all Shapes and sizes there.
I stopped going to my gym when it somehow became the local hangout for 20 year old Girls with makeup and highheels, and because it no longer suited my needs.
The owner put in more and more new Machines, and removed free weights. It basically became boring, not everyone wants to do the vibraplate or whatever the newest machine was at that time.

RJSAMS Posts: 208
5/29/13 10:28 P

Beldame, I haven't seen that workout buddy problem. Maybe it's a difference in the gyms, but even workout buddies at my gym are really working out together. I see some chatting, but it's in the locker room.

My DD and I workout at the gym together, but we are there to keep each other company for long (boring) runs. During the winter when the sidewalks were slippery, we did indoor long training runs of up to 12 miles. Yuck! We'd have to break it up with 1 mile on the indoor track, then 3 miles on a treadmill, then another mile on the track, etc. I could not have gotten thru it without a workout buddy!!

At least now that the weather is (sort of) better, we can run outside.

RJSAMS Posts: 208
5/29/13 10:09 P

As others have said, everybody at the gym is really only thinking about themselves. They are thinking the same things you are, but maybe not as intensely. You are there for you, not for anybody else.

That said, last winter I was running on the treadmill, and I tripped and fell. Since (of course) I wasn't wearing the safety clip--that is SO uncool, like anybody even noticed--that the treadmill kept going. That thing shot me off the back like a bullet from a gun! I had bruises and skinned knees and what all--good thing nobody was quick with their cellphone, or I'd have been a Youtube viral video.

So next time you feel self-conscious at the gym, I give you permission to picture that in your head and laugh your butt off at me--it hurt, but it had to be really funny to the people who saw it. I'm willing to offer myself as the butt of your humor, if it will help you be less self-conscious. (And also b/c you have a Dr. Who pic) You can just think "at least I am not doing that!" LOL

Edited by: RJSAMS at: 5/29/2013 (22:10)
5/29/13 7:57 P

I think 99% of people at the gym feel self-concious. I am one of them. I started using the ladies only side to help deal with my anxiety. It is still there, and if I hope to ever meet someone, I am going to have to get myself back over to the co-ed side. I pretty much focus on what I am doing myself at the gym. In fact, on two occasions a co-worker was there and I didn't even notice her. Yet, as others say, my mind does wander. I will see someone working out hard, and tell myself, I can do more than I am. I will see someone wearing a cute workout top, and wonder where they bought it. I will see someone with a trainer and try and pick up free tips for myself. In the end, I see people, all shapes and sizes and know we are really all there for a common goal, our own personal well-being. We are way to critical of ourselves in life. We need to slap ourselves and say, I am as good as anyone else here. Yes!! I have said it. Now I just have to remember it the next time I go to the gym. Half the battle is getting in the building.

Edited by: LINJENEWME at: 5/29/2013 (20:00)

Other Fitness and Exercise Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
work out in pool 11/12/2016 7:51:20 AM
How to get step count with Fitbit when riding a bi 4/11/2017 9:51:40 PM
belly fat 6/4/2016 3:29:43 PM
Can't Find Time To Workout? Wrong! 4/30/2016 7:28:00 AM
Heart Rate Monitors 3/11/2017 10:49:45 PM